SURVIVING AMERICAN HISTORY

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Gabi finds balance through a robust yoga practice, a passion she shares with her best friend, Ava. Her world is shattered when Gabi’s mom decides to move them from their home in Iowa to Maine to be closer to a new boyfriend for whom she has just left Gabi’s dad. Gabi, feeling uprooted and angered by the move, says goodbye to her school and begrudgingly sets off on the road trip with her mom. Soon into their drive, however, Gabi hears reports of an active shooter at the school she has just left and learns that every single one of her American history classmates has been murdered. She cycles through guilt, grief, outrage, and depression as she struggles to make sense of the tragedy on top of the stresses of her already tumultuous home life. In Maine, Gabi strives to find an outlet for her feelings, experimenting with self-destructive behavior before returning to her yoga roots to find peace and acceptance. Yoga calms both her turbulent emotions and her inner critic. Biracial Gabi has Mexican and German ancestry; she reflects on stigma surrounding body size and her internalized shame, as she used to wish she looked like her thin, Mexican paternal grandmother rather than her round-bodied White mother. This verse novel will grip reluctant readers with drama that is both realistic and emotionally charged.

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